When our daughters were younger the oldest two shared a bedroom. One day, I hung a mirror on their wall. With the oldest only five years old and barely four feet tall the mirror had to be positioned oddly low. But for the girls it was just the right height.
The oldest stood in front of the mirror to admire herself and excitedly exclaimed, “I can even see my chin!”
Her sister, just three, wanted to do everything her big sister did so she walked up to the mirror, balanced clumsily on her toes, tilted her chin upwards and peered at herself in the mirror. Now, at three she hadn’t yet mastered the skill of properly enunciating words. Her “l’s” were “w’s” and her “ch” sound often slithered out as an “s”. So when she peered into that mirror and just barely saw her whole face she too excitedly exclaimed, “I can see my sin!”
We, too, have a mirror in which we can see our sin (not chin). James 1:21-25 says,
Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing you are only fooling yourselves. Those who hear God’s teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be happy.
God’s Word is a mirror showing us the true state of our heart. In His Word we see ourselves as He sees us—wretched sinners desperately in need of a Savior. We see our faults; we are confronted with our weaknesses; we are humbled by our imperfections.
I am constantly amazed and humbled by the conviction I suffer every time I read God’s Word. I am faced with the reality of my own cowardice, my hypocritical heart, my lying tongue, and my selfish ambitions.
It’s as if the book was written while the Holy Spirit peered into my soul and dictated its horrid state to the writers.
The challenge presented to us is what to do with the reflection in the mirror.
Do we remain seers only and turn and walk away unchanged like the man in James, or do we become doers of the word and strive to allow God’s Spirit to change the faults we see in ourselves?
I don’t know about you but if I look in the mirror and see a spot of barbecue sauce resting on my chin or a spice nicely nestled between my teeth I usually do something about it.
Why should the state of our soul be any different? Why should I look into the mirror of God’s Word and see the sin in my life and leave unmoved and unchanged? Will we see the sin on our own? Maybe. Will others show us our sin? Sadly, probably not.
But God’s Word will never lie, never exaggerate, never appease, and never flatter. It gives us an honest, in-your-face reflection of what we really look like . . . on the inside.
The next time you open God’s mirror, balance yourself on your toes, stretch your neck, and take a long honest look. Chances are, you’ll find yourself exclaiming with my daughter, “I can see my sin!”
Question: What is your favorite Bible verse? (note: reference and/or verse alone will do!)